Failure to declare imported items may lead to USD $5,000 fine

Before October 2018 I had not yet seen a customs penalty case. Since then, inquiries about customs penalty cases have increased to approximately one every two months. At ports of entry, Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) is asking visitors and U.S. citizens about goods that they are importing or have imported to the United States.… Read More

Phone searches when entering the U.S.

On December 3, 2018 the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) published the findings of its audit of U.S. Customs and Border Protections’ searches of electronic devices at U.S. ports of entry. The OIG found that officers were inadequately supervised to ensure that searches were properly documented. As a result, the OIG further found that… Read More

Client account of the naturalization process in Phoenix, AZ

I am pleased to report that one of my clients recently became a U.S. citizen, and has graciously authorized me to write about his case. We first met on the telephone in early 2017. At that time my client, The Champ, had been a permanent resident for nearly a decade. Initially, The Champ had some… Read More

COMMENTS ON PROPOSED PUBLIC CHARGE RULE – 83 FR 51114

USCIS’s proposed public charge rule violates the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment as applied to spouses of U.S. citizens. Additionally, the proposed rule exceeds USCIS’s statutory authority when applied outside the context of applications for visas, admission, or adjustment of status. Lastly USCIS has made analytical errors in studying this… Read More

Put this in your pipe and smoke it – U.S. Customs and Border Protection answers questions about Canadian cannabis users and investors seeking entry

U.S. Customs and Border Protection held a press conference today to explain its position on the admissibility of Canadians who use cannabis after it becomes legal for recreational use in Canada. According to CBP, its enforcement policies will not change in response to this change in Canadian law. As to investments in Canadian marijuana enterprises,… Read More

SEC files complaint against Joel Burstein for conduct related to the Jay Peak EB-5 Fraud

On September 6, 2018 the SEC filed a complaint against Joel Burstein for conduct related to a fraudulent scheme connected to an EB-5 regional center. The SEC alleges that Mr. Burstein aided and abetted fraud “in connection with the purchase or sale” of securities, and aided and abetted fraud in the offer or sale of… Read More

Background on SEC v. South Atlantic Regional Center, et. al

This suit has been a long time coming. Both the SEC and the Department of Homeland Security have been aware of the issues with this project since at least as early as March 31, 2015. Investors in this project filed suit against the regional center, the promoters, and others in March 2015. The hotel at… Read More